best management practices,
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This weekend Canada celebrates Victoria Day (Fête de la Reine in French), a federal public holiday scheduled on the last Monday before May 25th in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. (Canada also celebrates current reigning sovereign Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday on the same date.)
Victoria Day rates special mention in my Printing Blog because Queen Victoria's reign (1837-1901) was a time of extraordinary innovation by printers, whose inventions included:
·Steam-powered presses for printing large numbers of pages
·Powered lithography equipment with metal plates replacing the original limestone slabs
·The introduction of chromolithography using multiple litho plates to produce multi-coloured impressions.
Victorian linotype machine
Informally, even Canadians who aren't monarchists often consider Victoria Day as marking the beginning of the summer season; but the important technological advancements of Victorian printers give us cause for yet another toast.
Five new developments since Cody
Wilson test-fired the first fully functioning 3D-printed gun (a.k.a. the “Liberator”) and
released the printable file for it on the Internet last week:
1. The file was downloaded
100,000 times in just the first two days it appeared on line.
2. Last Thursday a letter to
Mr. Wilson from the U.S. State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls
Compliance demanded the removal of the Liberator file and other downloadable
designs for printable gun parts from his Website DEFCAD.org, until the State Department decides
whether or not the files’ Internet availability violates American arms
export control laws called the International Traffic in Arms Regulations
3. In compliance Mr. Wilson
has removed the files from his own servers, although they have already spread
to other file-sharing sites where they still remain available.
4. Mr. Wilson has also made the printable gun files accessible at a public library and a bookstore in Austin, Texas--which he claims
entitlement to do under his organization Defense Distributed’s exemption for
non-profit public domain releases of technical files designed to create a safe
harbor for research and other public interest activities.
5. Mr. Wilson is said to be
weighing his further legal options and has also contacted the Electronic Frontier
Foundation for help in counteracting what he views as an infringement of his
right to free speech.
On April 25, 2013 at
Queen’s Park, Welland New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Provincial
Parliament (MPP) Cindy Forster held a news conference with a handful of
ex-workers from the closed Vertis Communications plant in Fort Erie, Ontario.Their goal was to publicize the problems
faced by employees of foreign-owned companies that go out of business.
Although the unionized ex-workers have stopped picketing the closed plant, they are still fighting to
get over $2 million in pension plans, benefits, and severance packages they
were denied when the U.S.-based parent company abruptly closed the plant in
Vertis was granted
bankruptcy status in the United States and sold its assets to Quad/Graphics,
another U.S.-based company, but the deal excluded the Fort Erie plant (Vertis’s
only Canadian operation) and several of its other U.S. facilities.
Because of the circumstances of
Vertis’s bankruptcy, the Canadian ex-workers have been denied access to the
federal Wage Income Protection Fund that pays a small amount of financial
compensation to terminated employees of a Canadian company that closes without
paying severance.Appeals to the
federal government from Ms. Forster, Niagara Falls Liberal MPP Kim Craitor, and
Liberal Ontario Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi have failed to gain the Vertis
ex-workers access to the fund.
Forster believes the
provincial government should do more to prevent this kind of situation
from happening again in Ontario.Accordingly, she plans to table legislation, probably in the form of a
private members’ bill, that would better protect workers when a foreign-owned
company closes. She says that the law might provide for the province to pay the
terminated employees what they are owed, then use its powers to retrieve the
money from the company.
She says such
legislation existed when the NDP were last in power (from 1990 to 1995), but that
the Conservative Party under former Premier Mike Harris repealed it. Since then, one subsequent effort by the
NDP to reinstate a similar law failed to gain government support.
“As foreign ownership
of Canadian manufacturers continues to grow, and global financial markets
continue to struggle, more and more Ontarians could be exposed to similar
situations,” Ms. Forster said in a press release. “We need to take a serious
look at these loopholes, and figure out the best way to protect the rights of
News Niagara reports that last week former employees of the closed Vertis
Communications plant in Fort Erie, Ontario, stopped picketing outside the plant's front gates, since all the equipment has now been removed, and the few remaining
employees working during the shutdown were let go on April 30. But the nearly 100 terminated workers
are still continuing their fight for the approximately $2.7 million (roughly
$27,000 each) they claim is owed to them since they were terminated without prior notice, termination pay, or severance in January, when the plant was closed. The closure occurred
after Quad/Graphics Inc. purchased most of the assets of Vertis in October 2012, but
not the Fort Erie facility. The ex-workers are represented by the Communications, Energy and Paperworks Union of Canada (CEP). Through
their union, the workers have tried to get at least some compensation from the Wage Income Protection Fund, a
federal program meant to provide a maximum of $3,640 to Canadian workers caught up in similar
cases. But although they qualify
for the fund, their claim remains unprocessed, because of a technicality: Vertis apparently did not file for
bankruptcy in Canada but rather had a Canadian court recognize the U.S.
bankruptcy the company filed in December 2011. Rumour also has it that one of the company's former customers, a
large Canadian newspaper chain that still owes the company about $2 million, is
withholding payment in hopes of finding a legal means to redirect the money to
the workers instead of the receiver for the company. Please let me know if you have any more news about recent developments. Current news
reports: http://www.bulletnewsniagara.ca/2013/05/06/updated-former-vertis-workers-denied-severance-end-plant-gate-picketing-but-the-fights-not-over-yet/ http://printaction.com/News/20130507-vertis-picketing.html Background to this story: http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/03/ex-vertis-workers-in-fort-erie-post.html http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/03/vertis-communications-files-for.html
Further to my post of 29 April 2013 ( http://vicg8.blogspot.ca/2013/04/3d-printed-weapons-producer-says-hes.html), over the weekend in Austin, Texas, 25-year-old Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson and a partner have
successfully test-fired the world’s first fully 3D-printed gun.In the end, they used a
common hardware-store nail as a firing pin, the 16-piece firearm’s only
non-printed component. Mr. Wilson has named his creation “The Liberator” after
the cheap, one-shot pistols designed to be air-dropped by the Allies over
Nazi-occupied France in World War II.
Defense Distributed’s CAD file for the
Liberator and its video introducing the gun are now available on line at:
Ken Lanci, owner, chairman,
and CEO of Consolidated Graphics Group Inc., is expected to announce he is
running for mayor of Cleveland at a news conference he has scheduled at his business at 12:30
p.m. on Monday.
This week he filed
preliminary paperwork that allows him to raise and spend money on polling.
Mr. Lanci is known locally for his philanthropy and for spending hundreds of thousands of his own dollars on
a failed 2010 bid for Cuyahoga County executive.(But keep in mind that even Winston Churchill lost an
A nonpartisan primary will
be held in Cleveland next September, from which the two candidates with the most votes will
advance to the election in November.
It’s official. As expected, on Monday Ken Lanci
announced his intention to run as a Democrat in Cleveland’s 2013 mayoral
election, making him the first challenger officially to enter the race against favoured two-term Democratic incumbent Frank Jackson. Mr. Lanci says priorities of his
platform will include reforming Cleveland’s substandard public-school system,
reducing crime, improved public safety, and poverty reduction through job
Mr. Lanci was born and raised
in a housing project on Cleveland’s east side.His press release says he rescued the family
business from bankruptcy when he was only 19 and has since built and turned around many other businesses.His current enterprise, Consolidated
Graphics Group Inc., employees over 150 people.
background here is that, when Mr. Wilson's organization, Defense Distributed, first started using 3D printers to
make gun parts, the 3D-printer manufacturer Stratasys cancelled Mr. Wilson’s
lease on one of their machines.
So does this scenario mean that if:
you’re a manufacturer of printing presses, and
I’m a printer, and
you don’t happen to like the content of a
particular job I’m running on a press that I’ve leased from you or you think
the content is illegal:
Then you automatically have the legal right to pull your press out of my shop?